Stand in lines.

It’s often said that a man spends up to one sixth of his life standing in lines or waiting for things*, and to that I say, “That’s all?!?! You’re not doing it right!” I’m certain you can do better than that.

Just think of all the awesome places there are to stand in lines (or “queues” for our British friends).

Most of the fun of the amusement park is waiting to get on the rides. Standing there, shifting your weight from foot to foot as your legs go numb, trying desperately to ignore the sweaty, board-shorts-and-polo-clad fathers yelling at their grubby, screaming children who, in turn, are dancing and swinging their arms wildly, obliviously hitting you in the crotch and stepping on your feet. But eventually, it has to end, and there it is up ahead. The line empties into what you can only assume is the ride entrance, and as you approach your heart begins to sink, but then something happens. You enter that door only to find another room of winding lines! Oh, amusement park, it’s just what I wanted! You’re the best!

In an effort to relive some of that excitement, I’ll sometimes wander the aisles of a supermarket waiting for a register to get completely backed up. Then, weeee! It’s standing time! Oh, you can go ahead of me, little old lady paying in pocket change and hard candy. I have nowhere to be (well, actually I do, but nowhere I want to be, anyway).

I want to have my next birthday party at the DMV. Those guys are the best. They take the whole “quiet lonely hell” thing to bold new frontiers. The offices themselves are legendary. It’s some sort of productivity vacuum — a void where nothing can ever get done in a timely manner. And the people there are almost as scary as the people on the bus, so talking to each other to pass the time is not an option. Honestly, I go down there whenever I can, just to take notes.

OK, that’s all well and good, but how often are you at the DMV, or an amusement park, or even the grocery store? Not often enough to log sufficient line-hours, I’ll bet. But fret not, my conflicted friend. Opportunities are all around you. Next time you’re out of the house, running an errand (knock on wood), and you happen to come across a group of people queuing up, just join ’em. Hop right into any line you see. There’s probably something pretty good at the front. Usually, the bigger the line, the better the prize (and the longer the wait). Try it out. You’ll be happy you did.

In the true spirit of laziness, I once saw a line to use the escalator while the stairs remained open. People were actually waiting there to avoid exercise. Where the escalator went I don’t remember, but I’ll bet it was the food court. It brought a small tear to my eye as I fell into formation behind the shuffling hordes, as any good time-waster should.

*I completely made that statistic up.
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One Response to “Stand in lines.”

  1. It’s okay that you created your fact. Five out of eight statistics are made up anyway.

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